“Do you know who this man is?” Counselor Michaels asked the witness. It was a very important question as it will either make or break the case. However, the witness couldn’t have been more unreliable.
Joe Monley was a two time convicted felon, one for B&E and the other for manslaughter. He has been clean for ten years now but there is always a shred of doubt when putting people like Joe on the stand.
Plus, a couple of days ago newspapers have discovered that Joe had an alcohol addiction. Alcoholics Anonymous was supposed to be well, anonymous. This revelation had put Joe’s testimony into jeopardy and Michaels would have removed him from the stand if he had any other witness.
No one else in the bar had seen the kidnapping of the waitress. No one in an entire bar.
The counselor waited for Monley to answer, his hands behind his back holding a pencil. He was tensed and was flexing the pencil. If Joe did not answer anytime soon then he would snap the pencil.
“Yes I do” Joe answered. Michaels eased off the pencil and continued on the prepared set of questions. Michaels plan was initially focus on the kidnapping but in light of recent events, he had to make some changes.
He had to provoke his client that day and he would never forgive himself. After Joe had answered all of the prepared questions perfectly, it was time for Michaels to take the rug from underneath the defense. He was sure that the defense would questions Joe’s testimony considering his Alcoholic Anonymous membership.
“How long have you been going to AA meetings Mr Monley?”
Joe’s head snapped into attention, his eyes narrowing. This was a low blow and even the defense was not completely prepared for this.
“Three years. I have been sober for the last two years”
“Then what were you doing in the bar?” Michaels asked.
After the papers leaked details of Joe’s AA membership, Michaels had asked Joe the same question and Joe stormed off. Now he could not storm off the courtyard.
“I was meeting somebody. I am sponsoring somebody and he had relapsed. I was there to take him home and take care of him.”
Michaels could have continued, but he stopped. He had already crossed a line with these questions but if he asked who Joe was sponsoring then it would be more…dirty.
He thanked the witness and the Judge concluding his line of questions.
Joe had done what was expected of him: recognize the kidnapper.